Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Council pushing disposable bag fee

From the Politicker:

City Councilmembers and advocates announced a plan today to slap a 10 cent charge on all plastic and paper carry-out bags at grocery and retail stores across New York City.

Customers would be required to bring their own bags or pay the fee, which stores would get to pocket, according to the proposed legislation, unveiled this afternoon at City Hall.

The legislation, which will be formally introduced at a Council meeting Thursday, is aimed at reigning in “wasteful” plastic bag use in the city, where it’s not uncommon for grocery stores to double-bag single quarts of milk.

According to the bill’s proponents, New Yorkers use approximately 5.2 billion plastic bags per year–the vast majority of which are not recycled. The city also spends an estimated $10 million a year to transport those 100,000 tons of plastic bags to landfills each year, they said.

“Many agree that it is time to move forward on addressing this environmentally-harmful problem,” the group said in a release.

The legislation would also force the city to begin widespread distribution of free, reusable bags. Restaurants would be exempt from the rule, Stores that break the rules twice would be slapped with $250 fines.

A spokesman for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose support is likely necessary for the bills to pass, declined to say whether or not she supports the bills.

A spokesman for the mayor said the office is reviewing the legislation.


Jon Torodash said...

The legislation would also force the city to begin widespread distribution of free, reusable bags before the fees go into effect in what Mr. Lander described as a “public-private partnership.”

There's that term again: "public-private partnerships." Keep an eye out for a city printing contract on NYC branded reusable shopping bags.

“What the mayor was actually proposing was a tax,” [Lander] said. “There are some legal questions there about whether the city actually has the power to do that or whether that takes action in Albany.”
Interesting loophole here. It'd help to know more about how this surcharge works, but the Committee on Environmental Protection has not met since June, and the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management has not met since July 23rd. Where is this bill?

The city's poor who spend above their food stamp budget, or don't qualify for it at all, are likely to be hit hardest.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! Queens is filled with discarded plastic bags.

Anonymous said...

It's important to note here at the outset that other cities like Washington DC have put bag fees into place and these been very successful at reducing the amount of plastic bags.

San Francisco and other cities have even banned plastic shopping bags years ago. And guess what, all that "sky is falling" nonsense that opponents said would happen DIDN'T HAPPEN.

Adding a fee for plastic shopping bags will just require an adjustment in people's behavior. We'll get used to it and the city will be cleaner as a direct result. I'm for this. I'm sick of seeing all of these things caught in trees (for years!) in the winter after the leaves fall off.

I remember when these stupid bags didn't even exist (pre-90s - not that long ago) and we all managed just fine.

BusyMomBeautyNY said...

This isn't a bad bill to past, but I think most New Yorkers wouldn't even notice the 10cent charge. I think some places have already started charging people the 10 cent charge. At my own super market (Pathmark) I only have to bring one of my own bags and got a 10cent discount from my total charge. Hopefully people will be more proactive about it.

Anonymous said...

City street trees will be happy that these bags will no longer get tangled in their branches .

Anonymous said...

"which stores would get to pocket"

The final legislation will certainly have the 10 cents go to the government.

Queens Crapper said...

What I don't understand is if the problem is PLASTIC bags, then why are they also imposing a charge for mandatory recyclable paper bags? Paper bags don't litter streets and the city already makes money off them as a commodity.

Queens Crapper said...

And why don't food stamp recipients need to bring a resuable bag just as the rest of us are expected to?

Anonymous said...

These plastic bags should have been banned years ago. A total ban now would be the fairer and most effective solution. I've been bringing canvas bags to the supermarket for 30yrs+, it's not only better for the environment, but much easier to carry.

Anonymous said...

So whats the big deal ny. Its just another way for your well meaning politburo members to stick you with another tax. Involving themselves in something they know nothing abou, private interprise. Why noy just go back to biodegadable paper bags and ban all plastic bags period.

Joe Moretti said...

How about just cleaning up the whole damn city too. Start enforcing litter laws, start handing out fines to people, businesses and homes that do not cleanup in front of their property. Fine those who do not cover garbage lids. Hell why not go the whole nine yards instead of just one little thing. Nothing is ever done completely in this city, it is always half-ass.

And you can start with Jamaica.

Anonymous said...

The city is going to Hell in a plastic bag.

Anonymous said...

"The city is going to Hell in a plastic bag."

Best. Post. EVER.

Anonymous said...

I think they should take away all these stupid bottle and can recycling machines.....just throw them in your own recycling bin.....I'm so sick of these bums coming on my property and pulling the cans and bottles out of my bin, its rude and its tresspassing on my property!! Most don't even wait for you to put it on the curb. Plus, its not worth the trouble to get the nickel back from the machine because usually you have to waste your time behind some bum putting 10000000 cans and bottles in the machine!!
The bag thing I dont mind too much.....they use to give you like 5 cents off for every plastic bag you used.....not sure if that's still in effect.

Anonymous said...

"The legislation would also force the city to begin widespread distribution of free, reusable bags."
Apartment dwellers use the plastic bags for food trash and push them down the chute in trash room to compactors in the basement. So what will they then use to dispose of the food garbage?

Anonymous said...

If 10 cents is good, why wouldn't $1 be better, or $10 be fantastic?

Did they pull the number 10 cents out of a hat?

Anonymous said...

"Apartment dwellers use the plastic bags for food trash and push them down the chute in trash room to compactors in the basement."

They'll do whatever they did before plastic bags were available. It was not that long ago. So they will be fine.

Anonymous said...

Bad idea. This means more shopping will get done outside NYC. The suburbs will gain while the city loses business, again.

Anonymous said...

In fact I would indeed suggest that the people of Queens shop in Nassau county and we have Wal-Mart too.

Anonymous said...

Bags pushing disposable council fee